The humble inhaler goes digital
By Ben Coxworth
People with respiratory conditions such as asthma will already be quite familiar with inhalers – and perhaps they don't see any way in which the things could be improved. Nonetheless, North Carolina-based Pneuma Respiratory has developed what it states is the world's first fully-digital soft mist inhaler. Among other things, it's claimed to deliver medication more reliably.
With a regular inhaler, the user has to manually press the device's release valve as they breathe in, drawing a mist of medication into their lungs. If they don't time it right, they may not receive a full dose.
The digital inhaler senses when the user is inhaling, then automatically releases a mist via an electronic ejector. This is said to take the "guesswork" out of the process, ensuring that the medication gets fully delivered, plus no propellant is required.
Additionally, the device can be synced with the user's smartphone, to keep a record of their treatment and thus verify that they haven't missed any doses.
There's no word on when the digital inhaler may be approved for widespread use – it's currently still considered an investigational device.